Parts retail giant AutoZone enters business rescue amid mounting debt

AutoZone has entered business rescue. Picture: MISA.

AutoZone has entered business rescue. Picture: MISA.

Published Jul 10, 2024


South Africa’s biggest privately owned automotive parts retailer, AutoZone, has voluntarily entered business rescue proceedings after reaching a stalemate with its credit provider.

The aftermarket parts giant has struggled under the weight of debt repayments for years, with the Covid-19 pandemic period having hit the company particularly hard. At the beginning of July its credit provider ABSA elected not to provide any further debt extensions.

Martlé Keyter, CEO of the Motor Industry Staff Association (MISA), said the union was well aware of the challenges that the retail motor industry faces at present, as consumers grapple with 15 year record high interest rates and a cost of living crisis.

However Keyter is positive that no stone will be left unturned to attract potential investors to AutoZone, particularly given that it is a highly established brand name.

MISA said it was ready to assist the union’s staff members affected by the business rescue proceedings.

“MISA appreciates AutoZone taking the initiative to protect and secure the business to avoid job losses. One of the Union’s Senior Labour Advisors has been assigned to engage with the Business Rescue Practitioners,” Keyter said.

“In accordance with the business rescue proceedings outlined in the Companies Act, MISA’s members will continue to receive their salaries and any other payments they are entitled to.”

AutoZone currently has 214 wholly-owned retail branches and 33 member-owned franchise branches around Southern Africa, including Botswana, Namibia and Swaziland.

The company employs over 1,400 staff members.

IOL Motoring